This evening is the start of Rosh Hashanah. Tomorrow my daughter will babysit for a child she’s waited to babysit for years, while her teacher parents work at their schools, a college and a high school, and the child’s school is closed for the Jewish New Year holiday. Yesterday was the first day of our new day care year. My children start their new school year on Monday. We are due to be visited by our day care licensor on Tuesday as part of our tri-annual relicensing process.

We’ve been building towards these changes a long while. I interviewed the new families arriving this week and next throughout the last school year. One of our new children is a sibling whose arrival we anticipated even longer. Each time we complete one relicensing process, I begin my awareness of what will need to happen in preparation for the next. We’ve said good-bye to bigger kids and are welcoming littler ones, noticing all the things the big kids did to help us out, as well as all the things the young ones are going to learn but have not yet. We’re also letting go of whole people who’ve been in our lives, kids and parents, and welcoming new ones we hope to know as well.

My kids, fortunately, cannot wait to return to school. My son went back to college while I was on vacation in California, called to let me know he was happy and settled in. Friday a former classmate of my boys, son of a longtime friend of mine, was arrested. Yesterday, instead of starting the first day of his junior year of high school, he was arraigned, and returned to jail for at least another week. So the transition is marred for me this year by that. The loss of the future we all held for that son is palpable as the new school year begins.

Time to shower, begin the day as I have so many others, welcome the new and returning children and families in the day care two stories down from where I sleep. I’ve been dreaming about Sudbury Valley School at night, more so than WFDC, not as in I want to go back, but probably, now I think of it, as in, another piece of letting go. This year I’ll be a carpool driver for my kids and their school mates, not a staff member or a member of SVS School Meeting. My world this year is smaller, less divided, I hope, and more manageable in it’s way, though we never, ever know what lies ahead, a lesson I learn again and again and again, as we adapt to all life throws our way.